by Maryland State Comptroller Louis L. Goldstein
It's been said that taxation is the art of plucking a goose to get the largest amount of feathers with the least amount of squawking. But today, tax collectors across America face an added challenge: keeping enough employees in the face of relentless government downsizing to get the job done while using technology to maintain and expand services and provide them more efficiently.
While high-tech ways to process tax returns, track accounts, generate refunds and send bills are staples in the arsenal of most revenue agencies, Maryland led the way with its pioneering tax return imaging system and consolidated revenue administration computer system.
But what about services that impact taxpayers directly - services they need and use - like getting a tax form or a tax question answered? If you build a high-tech taxpayer service system, will taxpayers use it? Will people accustomed to face-to-face service squawk about high-tech solutions to the problem of doing more with less?